According to UNHCR and IOM’s latest report, the number of Venezuelans leaving their country has reached 4 million. Globally, the report also reveals that Venezuelans are one of the single largest population groups displaced, with a number of refugees and migrants that has increased by one million since November 2018.
The number of asylum applications in Trinidad and Tobago by citizens of Venezuela is on the increase. In 2017, nearly 40,000 people applied for asylum.
In response, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is working to support countries throughout the Americas and the Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago, by engaging in registration and profiling of the population, reinforcing reception capacity of host communities, assisting with emergency preparedness and contingency planning, and providing basic humanitarian assistance.
The month of December was passing by and my sadness had turned into depression. At that moment, I had lived outside of Venezuela for almost two years, since I, like many other young people from my country, felt the need to look for opportunities beyond our borders. However, in my case, my stay in Colombia had become more challenging than expected: I couldn’t find a job where I could utilize my skills and professional knowledge, and I was quite far from content.
The day I received an alert for an online volunteering opportunity with the UNV Latin American and the Caribbean Portfolio, I had already applied for different assignments throughout the years. My happiness was immense. My perseverance gave me the possibility to collaborate, not only contributing with knowledge about the reality of my own country, Venezuela, but also with other groups and situations in other latitudes, in this case Nicaragua.
Caracas, Venezuela: I have been working as a UN Volunteer Associate Protection Officer at the Protection Unit of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Caracas since April 2012. My role is to provide legal advice to asylum-seekers and refugees in the country, as well as to contribute to the compilation and analysis of country of origin information that shall serve as the basis for the drafting of legal and policy documents.